Old Inn Road
Growing three grape varieties, Old Inn Road passionately produce award winning red, white, sparkling, still, and dessert wines.
We are open to visitors on trail days only, visit us at: 441 Old Inn Road, Bulahdelah
Whats the story behind your business name?
The name for the business comes from the road where we are located. The name of the road originated from the Cobb & Co stagecoach days when we were on the stagecoach route. An Inn was built at the end of the road for travellers to refresh themselves, perhaps with a glass of wine! The Inn has long gone but the road still bears the name.
How did you get started in farming?
The farm has been in the family’s possession since 1991. In 2006 Sooze and Dale decided this is where we would begin the next stage of our lives and planted a vineyard. Why a vineyard? We both love wine, not only the enjoyment of good wine but the idea that good food and wine is one of life’s joys. We travelled from Sydney to Kurri TAFE every Monday night for 2 years to complete a viticulture course and a winemaking course. During that time we prepared the ground for the vineyard and planted in 2007. It’s a family affair with friends and family chipping in at vintage and assisting with farmers markets.
What prompted you to start a Vineyard?
Once we made the decision to move to the farm to live then we decided the farm had to produce an income and growing grapes and producing vine is an activity that requires a relatively small amount of land. We both enjoy working with the soil and we both enjoy the magic that is winemaking so a vineyard was a natural extension of that. We particularly love the fact that no two vintages are the same and are constantly surprised by the ability of grapes to produce such a range of wonderful flavours. We live in a fabulous part of the world surrounded by nature and great neighbours but we still have the privacy that comes with a 125 acres property that still retains extensive bushland.
What varieties of wine do you produce?
We grow three grape varieties, Verdelho, Chambourcin and Dolcetto. With these we make red, white, sparkling and still table varieties depending on the season and the yield. For example in 2017 the season was dry enough for long enough to produce a late-pick dessert wine which we haven’t been able to do previously.
Over the last 8 years our wines have won many awards including gold, silver and bronze medals plus best in class awards. Whilst we don’t do what we do for the awards it is nice to have your products recognised by others.
What are your core business beliefs?
Our passion is to produce wine that people love to enjoy. We work hard to produce the best fruit we can using only natural farming practices and no pesticides - we keep insect pests at bay by employing guinea fowl. Before becoming farmers we didn’t really appreciate the joy of watching plants grow and seeing a season through to harvest and we wouldn’t use any practices that would put that at risk. We do everything by hand because it’s the best way for the vines, the fruit and the final result - the vintage in the bottle.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Great Lakes Food Trail?
Being part of a group like the GLFT, where producers share the same beliefs as you do, is both personal and professional reinforcement. We draw inspiration from one another and each one of us shares in our collective success. We also love that it gives our customers an alternative to the supermarket model for providing their families with only the best quality food and wine.